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Evening Entertainment Guide

Evening Entertainment Guide

Night owls will have lots of larks along the Great West Way...

The adventure doesn’t end after a day out seeing the sites or exploring the trails. All along the touring route there are fun things to do at night, from country pubs to comedy clubs. Here’s a few of our suggestions:

Comedy clubs and musical theatre 

Whether you’re in the mood for a big haha or a hearty sing-along, there are plenty of places for a lighthearted night out...

For a big laugh head to Komedia Bath, an all-round excellent comedy club hosting new and established acts as well as open mic nights. Famous comedians tour the region all the time - check out the listings at bigger theatres and art centres such as Windsor Theatre Royal, Swindon Wyvern Theatre & Arts Centre and The Hexagon in Reading.

Top tip: In the run up to Edinburgh Festival Fringe, many comedians also play more intimate gigs around the country to practise their new act. You’ll find this at The Wardrobe Theatre and the Hen & Chicken in Bristol.

If you fancy a sing-song to a famous musical like Fame or Guys & Dolls, go somewhere like Bristol Hippodrome or The Mill, Sonning. It will probably be cheaper to catch your favourite show outside the West End, no doubt making the experience even more enjoyable!

Dining Out 

There’s nothing like going out for a meal to make you feel like you’re on holiday. Whether you want to grab a quick bite, or take on an 18-course tasting menu, rest assured there’s no shortage of restaurants. Michelin-star musts include The Harrow at Little Bedwyn, Red Lion Freehouse East Chisenbury, Casamia, The Pony & Trap and The Fat Duck. Or try Marco Pierre White and Pierre Hoffman’s, Koffman & Mr White’s English French Brasserie in the Abbey Hotel Bath, new for 2018.

Meanwhile there are all manner of amazing neighbourhood restaurants, with thoughtful, seasonal menus and a casual atmosphere - a great way to try the best of modern British cuisine. Check out Mother & Wild for British tapas in Corsham. A wander down most High Streets should also yield a menu of enticing flavours.

And do make the most of the wealth of global cuisine on offer in the UK, from Thai to Mongolian. Lina Tandoori is family-run and a firm favourite among Pangbourne restaurants for its rich bhunas and creamy kormas, but we’re sure you’ll find your own best kept secret.

Good to know: It’s always a good idea to book a table in advance for dinner, and essential for big groups.

Pubs, clubs & bars 

Pubs are much-loved in many rural communities - a meeting place as much as a drinking place. The best pubs, with a true village vibe, are usually found on word of mouth. Ask for recommendations at your B&B or hotel. There’s another breed of pub, however - the gastro pub - that provides a different experience altogether. Instead of the standard pint of ale and scampi fries pub snacks, you’ll get fine local wines and creative artisan meals. Try The Royal Oak Yattendon, Queens Arms East Garston, Three Tuns Freehouse, The Newbury Pub, for starters. Plus, tuck into homegrown produce at Helen Browning’s Royal Oak

In towns and cities, you’ll have the bonus of a club scene. Bristol has loads to offer clubbers. Long renowned for its underground music scene - and artists such as Massive Attack, Roni Size and Tricky - it’s a mecca for ravers and revellers of all kinds. Check out Motion, an enormous clubbing complex in a former skate park close to Temple Meads. Or Thekla, a nightclub on an old cargo ship.

If you don’t want to be out all night but still want a special evening out, head to a bar. Some have excellent food, but it’s more about the carefully curated drinks at these smarter watering holes. Bath has some fantastic bars including Opium, Circo Bar and The Canary Gin Bar where you can sip on a ‘gin Austen’ cocktail. Speaking of gin head to Bombay Sapphire where you can carefully select an authentic gin cocktail... or two. 

Theatre, opera & classical 

The villages, towns and cities across the Great West Way are very keen on culture. And theatre, opera, ballet and classical performances can all pop up where you least expect it. Take Bristol’s Shakespeare Festival, where performances of the Bard’s classics have been known to take place in farms, cemeteries, libraries and on boats.

Although by no means exhaustive, the following venues have wonderful cultural programmes including lots of evening shows: Wiltshire Music Centre, Iford Arts at Iford Manor and Peto Garden, Pound Arts, Barn Theatre, Bristol Old Vic, Theatre Royal Bath, Opera Luna, St George’s Bristol, Painswick Music Society, The Watermill Theatre, Concert Hall Reading.

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Product Information

  1. The Harrow at Little Bedwyn

    Little Bedwyn, Marlborough

    Currently offering  Gourmet menus as Take Away plus other dishes that were flagship offerings in the restaurant.

  2. Corsham

    Corsham is something of a hidden gem in Wiltshire. On the fringe of the Cotswolds, this historic market town is surrounded by beautiful countryside and is home to a number of historic buildings, including the Almshouses and Corsham Court with its Capability Brown picture gallery.

    There’s The Pound…

  3. The Pound Arts Centre


    The Pound arts centre, run by local charity Pound Arts, is the hub of Corsham’s arts offering, with three annual seasons of professional performances, film, participatory arts events and exhibitions.

  4. The Three Tuns Freehouse


    We are an award-winning independent Freehouse with an excellent local reputation for the quality of our food and beers.  Run by Chef Proprietor James Wilsey who spent many years cooking in some of the top pubs and bistros in London, so expect full flavour, honest, seasonal cooking.

  5. Helen Browning's Royal Oak

    Nr Swindon

    You’ll eat and sleep well here in our 12 luxurious rooms named after our favourite fields. Sleep deeply in crisp cotton bedding. Enjoy generous organic pub food from our farm. Farm tours, great landscapes, wildflowers, stunning wildlife. Dogs welcome in our two dog-friendly rooms.

    Indicative Availability

    Book Helen Browning's Royal Oak Online

  6. Bombay Sapphire Distillery - Laverstoke Mill


    Based at Laverstoke Mill in rural Hampshire, just 15 miles from Winchester and 60 miles from London. The Bombay Sapphire Distillery is in a conservation area with over 1000 years of history.

    The distillery showcases the care, skill and artistry behind every drop of Bombay Sapphire, and allows you…

  7. Bath


    The golden city of Bath has been welcoming visitors for over 2,000 years. Designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, Bath is home to some of the most impressive architectural sights in the world such as the Royal Crescent, the Circus and Pulteney.

  8. Red Lion Freehouse


    This Michelin-starred country pub has a national reputation for serving outstanding food in a quintessential pub setting; the recent addition of their 5 star boutique guest house means you can experience a room just as special as the food.

  9. Abbey Hotel


    Abbey Hotel is located perfectly central in the city of Bath, making it an ideal place to stay to when exploring the city. Independantly owned, this unique hotel offers an intriguing blend of stylish and contemporary comfort, vibrant and eccentric contemporary art, and historic character.

    Indicative Availability

    Book Abbey Hotel Online

  10. The Newbury


    Multi-award winning gastro pub boasting creative cuisine and real ales in roomy, townhouse pub with rustic-chic decor, plus stylish terrace and micro gin distillery.

  11. Queens Arms


    The Queens Arms is the award winning, pub, restaurant and hotel with its own private lodge. Situated in the beautiful village of East Garston, yet only 3 miles from junction 14 of the M4, The Queens Arms is perfectly placed between London and the West Country yet in the heart of an area of…

    Indicative Availability

    Book Queens Arms Online

  12. Iford Manor Gardens

    Iford, Near Bath

    Breathtakingly pretty 18th century manor surrounded by award-winning Italianate gardens.

Itinerary Distances

FromToDistance * (metric)
The Harrow at Little Bedwyn (51.38972,-1.58241)Corsham (51.43437,-2.18455)37.9
Corsham (51.43437,-2.18455)The Pound Arts Centre (51.42775,-2.18339)0.67
The Pound Arts Centre (51.42775,-2.18339)The Three Tuns Freehouse (51.38026,-1.60376)36.54
The Three Tuns Freehouse (51.38026,-1.60376)Helen Browning's Royal Oak (51.55118,-1.64805)17.35
Helen Browning's Royal Oak (51.55118,-1.64805)Bombay Sapphire Distillery - Laverstoke Mill (51.23485,-1.29663)38.57
Bombay Sapphire Distillery - Laverstoke Mill (51.23485,-1.29663)Bristol (51.45152,-2.59816)84.31
Bristol (51.45152,-2.59816)Bath (51.3856,-2.36168)16.19
Bath (51.3856,-2.36168)Red Lion Freehouse (51.2726,-1.80063)36.91
Red Lion Freehouse (51.2726,-1.80063)Abbey Hotel (51.38065,-2.35762)36.52
Abbey Hotel (51.38065,-2.35762)The Newbury (51.4009,-1.32428)64.64
The Newbury (51.4009,-1.32428)Queens Arms (51.48488,-1.47428)12.59
Queens Arms (51.48488,-1.47428)Iford Manor Gardens (51.32885,-2.28699)53.15
Iford Manor Gardens (51.32885,-2.28699)Barn Theatre (51.71446,-1.95801)43.75
Total Distance *478.97 miles
Estimated Journey Time15.42 hours

* Approximate distance by road

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